With oil in the crankcase a bit of gasoline in the tank, I attempted to start the Bride’s engine. There’s no CVT pulley on the crank, but I wanted to play with the throttle without the centrifugal clutch engaging. It was very hard to start. Pulling the rope only got a few pops at best. After a bunch of tries, I discovered that I could get to run with a very specific drill: choke on, a couple of pulls with the throttle closed, then whack the throttle open as I pulled, and it might light. I was able to get it to run twice, but the idle was uneven, with lots of surging and some pops from the exhaust. I was not able to get the engine to run without the choke on.

A few unexpected things I noticed: the carb end of the intake tract got quite cold, the exhaust is louder than I’d hoped, and I discovered that the kill switch leads, surprisingly, do absolutely zip — I had to pull the spark plug cap to kill the engine.

It’s at this point that I am rudely confronted by my inexperience with carb tuning. I’ve never had a new carb run this poorly from the first go. From all of my past experience, jetting can be off pretty darn far and the engine can still idle fairly nicely. I looked at the plug several times, and the end never looked wet from fuel, so the hard starting isn’t from flooding. So I don’t know if it’s lean, rich, bad/old gas issues, or whether the super-long intake tract is causing issues (although Mike Festiva has demonstrated that it shouldn’t). The carb I’m using is a Keihin PE24 clone from Nibbi Racing. Nibbi is a fairly high-end manufacturer that I’ve had good luck with before and their PE24FL is a popular choice for modded Predator/clone motors. Perhaps I need to check my gaskets and make sure I don’t have an air leak somewhere? I am guessing there’s a lot of head-scratching ahead for me.

But hey, it has run, which is something I couldn’t say when I woke up this morning!

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